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Every one aspires to become a second Tolkien and most writers wish to be measured against his detailed standards within their secondary world created. Up until now, many authors have come close, Tad Williams, in my opinion, and Guy Gavriel Kay. Authors like Terry Brooks, whilst creating very good works of fantasy, tend to lack that certain atmosphere of palpable historical background. On the other hand Robert Jordan has created a sense of ‘overkill’ in having too much history blended in with an already rich story-line. Finally, David Eddings, the most popular of so called ‘trivial fantasy’ writers, has created several worlds, progressing from flatly two dimensional worlds to almost three dimensional world with more practice, generally in the course of his series’.

Tolkien’s ultimate and immense achievement still stands alone as an unobtainable goal in the Fantasy genre. The statement that Tad Williams is the ‘American Tolkien’, is one I can fully support, even if the mythological background is far away from Professor Tolkien’s standard. Which is not meant as a criticism, for, in my opinion, fifty years would not be enough for any mortal man’s creation to come close to Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. I will leave you with two memorable pieces of writing from each of my chosen authors:

"‘In fact’, the critic thundered,
‘I’ve noted some notable things.
The entire plot‘s been bought job-lot -
You’ve written Lord of the Rings!’"

Tad Williams, The Rime of the Ancient Trilogist, Stanza 72

Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea
comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-Earth.
Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not
all tears are an evil!

Gandalf’s leave-taking in The Lord of the Rings(29)

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